A Travellerspoint blog

Day 41 (10.12.07) - Across Maine to Calais (Photo's Added)

Calais is close to the coast

overcast 55 °F
View (Re) Discovering America on jl98584's travel map.

Miles Driven: 152
Weather: Heavy Rain, Cold

<<We made it to Calais in Eastern Maine last night, but when I tried to log onto the Internet, my data card gave me a warning that it would be using international roaming rates! I unplugged it real quick and decided the blog could wait.>>

<<Note: I'm going to try inserting the regular photo's directly in the blog entry and include more text with them. It will make the entries somewhat longer, but eliminate the need to click on thumbnails to enlarge them and read the descriptions. Some people prefer the latter, but other blog's I've read that used the former seem a little easier to use I think. If you strongly prefer either approach, add a comment - I'll go with the majority.>>

It was pouring down rain when we got up this morning at the Twin Rivers RV Campground. There were puddles all around the RV, so I wore my rain boots and got rig ready to travel. I expected we'd make pretty good time because of the rain - not much temptation to stop as often!

However, as we were driving through Bangor, I saw a building that said "Cole Transportation Museum". It was behind fences and I couldn't see any way in, so we kept going. About 1/2 mile farther, we saw a brown (informational) sign saying to turn right to get to the museums. We hadn't done any real sightseeing for a couple of days, so I decided to follow the signs.

The "Cole Transportation Museum" was started by a single man. Galen Cole was 19 when he lost his entire squad to a German tank gun in World War II. He made a promise that day:

"If I survive this war, I will do my best to leave my community and fellow man better than I found them."

It took nearly 50 years, but as his family ran a trucking company, he was able to save enough money to build the museum in 1989. However, he didn't have enough money to also acquire vehicles for it. So before the building was completed, friends, customers and other people in Maine who read news accounts of the museum donated many, many vehicles and other transportation related items. We were impressed with the wide variety of exhibits. We were allowed to take pictures in the museum, but couldn't use flash. These are pretty dark, but hopefully you can enjoy some of these old vehicles as much as we did.

Most were behind ropes to protect them of course, but this car was set up for people to sit in. I believe it is a Ford Model T. Mom remembers driving one!


We also saw a snow roller that was used in Maine in the early 1900's. It was towed by horses, the deeper the snow - the more horses they had to use (between 2 and 8). After a road was rolled, then frozen, it could be driven on.


Since this museum focused on transportation in Maine, it featured quite a few snowplows, sleighs, and such. This was a Model T that had been converted to a snowmobile. Sears actually sold kits for this, the car's wheels could be put back on for regular driving in about an hour.


The museum had so many exhibits, I had to try to select just a few really special ones to include here (or I'd put you all to sleep - it isn't quite as much fun looking at pictures as it is the real thing). This is a 1913 Stanley Steamer built in Massachusetts. The Stanley brothers who designed and built it were from Maine however and built their first steam engine in Maine. The car was difficult to get started and took a long time to get up to speed, but once it got going could really go. This car was only 10 horsepower and was used as a bread delivery truck.


The museum also had several Firetrucks on exhibit. This one was a horse drawn firetruck. Water was pumped by people pumping up and down on the long handle at the side of it (a Hand Pumper).


Next time you complain about a pot hole, think about this next picture. When primative roads got wet, they could be just about unpassable. Small trees were cut and laid over the road so vehicles wouldn't get stuck in the mud. These corduroy roads must have been very uncomfortable, but were at least passable.


There was also a full size locomotive, freight car and caboose inside the museum! Wayne, one of the volunteer guides that worked at the museum, actually was an engineer on this locomotive for many years!


A small train station had been relocated and built into the corner as part of the museum. Bill, another volunteer, was kind enough to unlock it and show me the Post Office and train ticket counter inside.


(I hope the above segment wasn't too long - at least it's only a small fraction of the pictures I took!)

After we left the museum, I decided we'd better sample some of the local fare. Of course, we have these establishments in Washington State, but only few and far between. After we got to New England, we started seeing these quite frequently - so I suspect they are some sort of local thing? Anyway, when it's cold and rainy I need to do something to help Mom keep her morale up.


So now, having done some touristing (the museum) and being well provisioned (Dunkin Donuts), we headed out on Hwy 9 to the Coast. The rain started to let up a bit and I pulled over at a rest area called "Crawford". The creek was nicely framed by some fall tree's, so of course I pulled out the camera:


I think we have begun seeing more red fall foliage in Maine. Supposedly Vermont and New Hampshire have a lot of red also, but it might have been messed up by the warm fall. Maine also has lovely foliage, but it is mixed in with more Evergreen's than VT or NH had, more like our home state (WA).


We also began passing more open fields with some sort of lovely, red ground cover. We stopped to take pictures of it just because it was so pretty. However, we have since learned that these are wild blueberry fields - a big business in Maine! The bushes only grow a few inches off the ground, quite different then the wild blueberries back home.


Please forgive me, I know I swore not to upload any more pictures of (common?) animals - but these wild turkeys were right by the side of the highway, much closer than my earlier shots...


I've got two more days to catch up on after not having had any internet access. When you get a minute, please vote on which version of the blog you prefer (thumbnails as before, or this one with the full text & pictures in the blog).

Take care everyone...

Posted by jl98584 10:08 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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You must be getting a bit road weary by now? I just went from SD to WA, back to SD and then back to WA in one week and I'm tired of being on the road. Heading back to SD for the last time Tue by bus and last drive back. I know you're taking it much slower but still think it might feel a little like you are always moving?? Do you ever stay in a motel just to feel the solid earth for a night?

by pjohnston

No I don't think were too road weary, although Mom still gets tired at night just like back at home. We're not driving nearly as hard as you - just 3 - 4 hours a day usually. We stop often (I try for at least once an hour) and also get out for a fair amount of sightseeing. We haven't stayed ina motel yet, the RV is small, but I think we're used to it by now.

by jl98584

voting? I vote for inline descriptions/photos.

by TexasRTJ

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